NEW YORK — Ichiro Suzuki was overwhelmed by the outpouring of appreciation he received from the Yankees after he got his 4,000th hit between the major leagues and Japan in the first inning.
Ichiro reached the milestone in the first inning and Alfonso Soriano hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth off R.A. Dickey on Wednesday night, lifting New York to a 4-2 victory over the Blue Jays for Toronto's 12th straight loss at Yankee Stadium.
"It's unbelievable, 4,000 hits," Soriano said of Ichiro's milestone. "To get 4,000 hits, you have to be a great hitter."
Ichiro, 39, hit a liner off Dickey that bounced just beyond diving third baseman Brett Lawrie for the milestone hit. Pete Rose with 4,256 hits and Ty Cobb with 4,191 reached the number solely in the major leagues.
Ichiro broke a tie with Lou Gehrig when he got his 2,722nd major-league hit in his 13th season. He amassed 1,278 in nine seasons with Orix of Japan's Pacific League.
His teammates streamed out of the dugout and surrounded him at first base. Ichiro then faced the cheering fans and bowed, tipping his helmet.
"When my teammates came out to first base it was very special, and to see the fans," he said. "I wasn't expecting so much joy and happiness from them and that's what made it very special tonight."